As the Candida feeds mainly on sugar, it is necessary to follow a strict diet for beating the overgrowth. It is a long process and it can be difficult for people with very different eating habits from the Candida diet. However, follow the diet is essential to the healing process,as antifungal drugs have only a localized and transient effect on the infection.
If you want to know more about candidiasis, its symptoms, how to diagnose and treat it, go the first part of the article: Candidiasis, part 1: definition,symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Candida feeds mainly on sugar, so treatment of candidiasis requires to adapt the diet first. It is long and can be difficult for people wich eating habits or very different from the Candida diet. However, the diet is essential to the healing process, as antifungal agents have only a localized and transient effect on the infection. The Candida diet consists of the elimination of all kinds of sugar, molds, yeast and antibiotics in food. To help your body beat the infection, you should also remove all the foods that are difficult to digest, and foods with a high glycemic index. Generally, I recommend you use only natural and unprocessed produce, as process foods contain additives that must be digested and eliminated by your body, which will exhaust it. Here is a detailed inventory of foods to be avoided if you suffer from candidiasis, as well as a list of beneficial foods.
This article is for informational purposes only and cannot replace the advice of a specialist or a doctor. You should not start any diet without the approval of your GP, and without first ensuring that you are in good health and not suffering from any nutritional deficiency. This diet is low in carbohydrates, can be extremely dangerous for thin people, because it leads to a rapid weight loss. It is therefore essential to be followed by a specialist for the duration of the treatment.
Remember that everything is about moderation when it comes to health. Except for the complete elimination of sugar, do not change your diet suddenly, as this may irritate your digestive system. So, if you have been eating refined wheat and white rice all your life, with very few vegetables, be careful and patient when replacing them with whole grains and a significant amount of vegetables. Go step by step, you spent a lifetime eating these foods, you can afford to take a few weeks to adapt your body to this new fiber intake.
Do not sink into orthorexia: do your best to have a healthy and balanced diet, but accept doing an exception sometimes, otherwise you will isolate yourself socially. Thus, if it is common knowledge that a fast-food-based diet is harmful to health, eat a hamburger, fries or a slice of pizza once in a while never hurt anyone. Make exceptions, but reserve them for special occasions: your birthday, Christmas, a wedding…
Foods to avoid
Sugar and sweeteners
Sugar is Candida’s favorite food. It is essential to leave it out of the diet whil figting a Candida overgrowth. The word “sugar” generally denotes a soft substance, drawn mostly from beet or sugar cane, and used as a sweetener. Sugar is mainly composed of saccharose. Other compounds of the family of saccharides also have a sweet taste: glucose, fructose, maltose or lactose.
Contrary to what popular belief and the current trend say, there is no good sugar! Whatever its origin or degree of refining, carbohydrates having a sweetening power have the same effect on our body: they produce a glycemic peak, forcing our pancreas to release insulin to stabilize blood sugar levels. In the long term, this glycemic yo-yo may promote insulin resistance, hypertension, obesity and even diabetes. So even if you do not suffer from candidiasis, sugar damages your health.
Here are the different kinds of sugar found on the market:
Cane, palm, sugar beet or coconut blossom sugar , white, red, brown, raw, powdered, liquid, candied, complete, brown, kitul, rapadura, moscovado, demerara, jacutinga, fructose, molasses, honey, maple, agave, cane, or cereal syrup (rice, maize, barley, wheat), glucose, fructose.
Sweeteners must be avoided too, because they contribute to addiction to sugar and their inoffensiveness on the body has not yet been proven. So you can put aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin and sucralose in the rubbish bin!
Fresh, canned, dried or juiced fruit should be avoided because of their high fructose content. Reasonable portions of slightly sweet fruit are however acceptable, you will find a list below. On the other hand, endurance athletes may have a banana or another sweet fruit just before and during their workout. Indeed, in their case the sugar will be immediately used by the muscles, and thus will not be available to feed the Candida.
Cereals are rich in carbohydrates, they can also feed the Candida. Eliminate from your diet refined cereals as well as those rich in gluten, as they are the more difficult to digest for the body: wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, oats, corn, white rice. You will need to stop eating bread, cakes, pastries, croissants, biscuits, flour, pies, filo or brick, couscous, semolina, bulgur, and any other food containing the cereals listed above and their derivatives.
Vegetables and legumes rich in carbohydrates, such as sugar beet, beans, yams, lentils, cassava, parsnips, sweet potato, peas, chickpeas, potato; must be completely eliminated during the first weeks of the diet.
Cow’s milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar. Thus, produce such as milk, cream, cheese and yogurt should be avoided.
Meat cannot feed the Candida. Unfortunately, the additives meat may contain will weakenthe body and therefore, promote Candida overgrowth. In addition, the consumption of meat increases the amount of uric acid in the blood, which also needs to be filtered by the body to eliminated.
Forget about chicken, turkey, beef and pork. Because of intensive farming techniques, these meats contain too many antibiotics and growth hormones. Cured meats, sausages, smoked meats and fish must also be avoided, because of the additives they contain: dextrose, nitrates, sulphates and sugars!
On the sea front, do not eat fatty fish (salmon, tuna) and avoid shellfish because they accumulate more heavy metals than lean fish. Do not eat fish from non-organic fish farms to avoid antibiotics and pesticides.
Vegetable proteins such as Seitan, Quorn and tofu, are unsuitable for the Candida diet, as the first is made of gluten, the second, of a fungus and the last, of soy.
Mold, ferment, yeast
When the body is infected by Candida, which is a form of fungus, it is better not adding produce rich in mold and yeast! Thus, the following foods are not recommended during the treatment: bread, cakes, pastries, beer, cider, vinegar (except unfiltered apple vinegar), alcohol, cheese, soybeans and derivatives (soy sauce, milk, tofu, miso) , mushrooms, dried fruits.
Beware of nuts, which act like a magnets to mold. Buy them fresh, still in their shell, and open them just before eating. You can also buy them unroasted and unsalted, and soak for at least three hours in filtered water in order to remove mold. Just make sure the nuts are not rancid. Pistachios and peanuts must stay out of the diet during the duration of the treatment, because they contain too much mold.
Sodas, iced teas, energy drinks and fruit juices must stay out of the diet because they contain sugar or sweeteners. Carbonated beverages, including sparkling water, increase the acidification of gastric juices, and may affect digestion. Tea and coffee are stimulants such as tobacco or chocolate, they cause the release of sugar by the liver (see below). They should therefore not be consumed during the Candida diet.
Oils and condiments
Do not use peanut oil or corn because they contain mold. Margarine is a processed cocktail of poor quality oils, water, starch and hydrogen, it must obviously be avoided, no matter if you have a candidiasis or not. All vinegars must be avoided, except for unfiltered apple vinegar.
Coffee, tea, chocolate, tobacco, alcohol, drugs and some medicines stimulate the nervous system, making it unnecessarily alert. This induces excessive stimulation of the heart and adrenal glands, causing the liver to release its reserves of sugar (glycogen), just as during stress. This sugar will eventually go feeding the Candida.
As I am sure you have understood, it is essential to the healing process to preserve the body reserves. Consuming stimulants causes a series of chemical reactions that will stress the body and force it to spend energy to regain balance. Keep your energy to beat the Candida, help your body by stopping to consume stimulants!
Small note for the coffee addicted: decaffeinated coffee still contains caffeine, but in small quantities. It therefore remains a stimulant and should not be consumed. Same for beer labeled “alcohol-free”, which still contains a little alcohol.
Foods containing additives
All industrially processed foods contain additives that are difficult to digest and that will destabilize your intestinal flora: sugar, gluten, preservatives, stabilizers, flavor enhancers… To maximize your chances of recovery, eliminate: industrial sauces (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, barbecue, salad dressing, pasta or meat sauce…), pre-packaged meals (soups, microwavable and frozen meals…), canned foods (vegetables, ravioli , fruit, chickpeas…), spreads, biscuits, cereal for breakfast, jams, margarine. Generally, stop buying any product sold in a box or bag.
Good to eat
After reading this article, the first thought that crosses your mind is probably “Oh my God! What can I eat then?!?” Do not panic, the list of harmless and beneficial foods is also long!
It is essential to eat a large amount of vegetables to help the healing process. Vegetables are high in fiber and facilitate digestion. Moreover, these are prebiotics, ie valuable food for your intestinal bacteria, those that will help youbeating the Candida. Eat raw vegetables whenever you can. If you want to eat cooked vegetables, you can steam them. Do not cook them at too high a temperature, because it alters their nutritional value.
The best vegetables preferred are those low in carbohydrates, such as: garlic, artichoke, asparagus, eggplant, avocado, broccoli, celery, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, shallots, endive, spinach, kale, lettuce, olive, onion, leek, fresh peas, peppers, radishes, rutabaga, raw tomato. Vegetables rich in carbohydrates, such as carrots, squash, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, cooked tomatoes… Can be eaten in reasonable quantities, preferably raw or boiled.
Rich in fiber and micronutrients, algae can help you beating the Candida: agar, arame, dulse, kombu, mekabu, nori and wakame. You can also consume algae as food supplements in powder or tablets: spirulina, chlorella, kelp. Pay attention to their origin to ensure their quality.
Fresh, low sugar fruit can be eaten, but sporadically and in small quantities: acerola, açaí, goji berries, cassis, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, black currant, blackberry, blueberry, green apple… Lemon is allowed without restrictions. Ditto for coconut. Do not eat dried fruit, it contains too much mold.
Replace refined grains containing gluten by brown or semi-brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth… in reasonable quantities. Start slowly, to avoid irritating your gut. Pasta lovers, do not despair: you will find in organic stores brown rice, buckwheat or quinoa pasta, taste and texture very acceptable. Be careful with other products with the “gluten free” label: they are usually high in refined flours (corn or white rice) and contain all kinds of additives to obtain a pleasant texture.
When cooking, you can replace wheat flour by brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or chestnut flour, arrowroot… To keep a neutral taste, you can mix two or three of these flours in the same recipe. You can consume occasionnally small spelt flour, because it contains much less gluten than wheat or regular spelt.
Regarding carbohydrates from tubers or legumes: potatoes, chickpeas, beans, lentils, chestnuts… You can start eating them again after a few months, but moderately. Pay attention to the cooking method, which can alter the nutritional value and the glycemic index of foods. So, prefer boiled potatoes to baked or deep fried ones. Do not mash your food, as it increases its glycemic index.
Eat small quantitoes of organic, good quality meat. Duck, guinea fowl, rabbits and lambs farming is still relatively respectful of nature, animals are less drugs and feed naturally. Choose carefully the source of your meats, look for a trusted farmer from whom you can buy meat and good quality eggs. Regarding fish, buy it wild or from certified organic farming.
Butter, is mainly composed of fat. It therefore contains very little lactose, and can be eaten while on the Candida diet. Goat or sheep milk and cheese, as well as mare’s milk, are allowed in reasonable quantities. Same for yogurt containing alive bifido-bacteria, which will help rebalance the intestinal flora.
Nuts and seeds
All nuts except peanuts and pistachios, can be eaten during the Cndida diet. To make sure they do not contain molds, buy them fresh, still in their shell, and open them at the time of eating. You can also buy unroasted and unsalted nuts, and soak them in filtered water for at least three hours before eating. This operation will eliminate the majority of surface molds, but it will also make the nuts easier to digest, allowing the body to benefit from their nutritional benefits.
Another way to eat nuts: nut butters. White or toasted almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, tahini… These butters have a delicious texture and exquisite taste. You can add them to porridges, red fruits, prepare delicious homemade spreads…
Chia, pumpkin, hemp, sesame, flax and sunflower seeds are excellent nutritional supplements. You can use them to season your dishes, to give a crunchy touch to your salads, or enjoy their specific properties for making puddings (chia) and crackers (flax).
Drink still water, plain, with lemon juice added or herbs, as well as herbal teas. You can prepare refreshing and sugar free drinks with mint and lime, ginger and lemon… As for warm drinks, replace coffee by chicory. You can have a light green tea once in a while. In addition, spicy teas such as Indian masala chai, will support your digestion.
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices will make your dishes fragrant and tasty, and you will benefit from their digestive, antioxidant and anti-fungal properties: garlic, dill, anise, basil, cinnamon, chives, cloves, coriander, turmeric, tarragon, ginger, oregano, paprika, parsley, black pepper, rosemary, sea salt, thyme… Let your imagination! If you’re not used to eating spices, go slowly and introduce them gradually, so as not to irritate your gut.
Oils and condiments
Oils contain fatty acids essential to the functioning of the body. Moreover, some of them, such as coconut oil, have antifungal properties. Coconut oil can replace butter in your recipes. Use cold-pressed oils, and eat them raw to take advantage of their benefits maximally: hemp, coconut, pumpkin, olive, sesame are particularly recommended in the treatment against candida. As for condiments, you can opt for organic, unfiltered apple vinegar, lemon juice, tamari (in reasonable quantities) or coconut aminos.
If absolutely necessary, you can use stevia, xylitol and yacon syrup to replace sugar. These three products have a low glycemic index and will not feed your candida, xylitol is even toxic for that unwanted guest. Use with caution, it can cause diarrhea and digestive disorders if eaten in large amounts! Be aware it is extremely toxic for dogs, do not buy xylitol if you have a dog, as a tiny amount would be enough to kill it. In addition, the effect of long-term consumption of stevia, xylitol and yacon is not yet known. So use them in exceptional cases, for example to prepare coconut muffins on the occasion of your birthday. Never use them to sweeten your tea or your yogurt!
Food should remain a pleasurem, as enjoying your food will help you follow the diet properly on the long term. To avoid social isolation, allow yourself a few exceptions, but not before several weeks of diet, after your symptoms have completely disappeared. You may occasionally eat a square of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa minimum, drink a decaffeinated cappuccino with almond milk, or have a glass of wine… However, keep these exceptions for special occasions: your birthday or your spouse’s, a wedding or Christmas.
Schedule these exceptions and decide before the meal what you allow yourself, so you will not be taken aback and tempted once to table. Specify your loved ones that this is an exception and that you do not want to go beyond, failing which they could offer you a second glass of wine, another coffee or a slice of cake. If you are clear and firm with your relatives, friends and with yourself, cheating risks will be reduced.
Return to a normal diet
Once your Candida will be beaten, you will want to return to a normal diet. By normal I mean a balanced diet, not necessarily the eating habits you had before starting the Candida diet. To avoid a relapse and irritation of your intestines, do not pounce on foods that you avoided during treatment: reintroduce them slowly, at the rate of one foodstuff per week, in small quantities. Try to stay away from processed foods and sweet products whenever possible. If you followed the diet properly, and if you are really healed, these foods should no longer seem attractive to you, because your palate will be re-educated to appreciate natural flavors.
The Candida diet may seem difficult to cfollow at first, because it excludes comon foods of traditionnal Western diet. The first weeks will certainly be painful, but your body and your palate will get used quickly to this new regime. In addition, the quick results in emotional and energetic levels will give you the motivation to continue. Do however not be fooled by these rapid changes: it will take months to completely eradicate the candidiasis. Be patient and persistent, and do not forget to regularly consult your doctor or specialist to ensure your good health.
The support of your loved ones is crucial to your success. So feel free to talk about your problem with them, without going into detail, at the risk of annoying them or making them paranoid. You can explain that you have an infection of the digestive system, and therefore you need to stop consuming foods that irritate you gut. This simple sentence will make them understand that you have a health condition, and they will be sympathetic to you.
Feel free to share your experience, your comments and questions! I wish you a life full of health!
www.vulgaris-medical.com ; www.nutritionsante.ch ; www.ateliersante.ch ; www.passeportsante.net ; amelioretasante.com ; www.lemonde.fr ; www.produits-laitiers.com ; ww.thecandidadiet.com ; www.fr.docvadis.ch ; www.wikipedia.org ; www.futura-sciences.com ; www.fitnessfriandises.fr ; www.hygienenaturelle-alimentation.com ; www.candida-albicans.fr ; G. Enders, Le charme discret de l’intestin : tout sur un organe mal-aimé (2015) ; V. Legros, sans candida albicans, accompagner une candidose (2010)